Monday, October 21, 2013


Fabric Covered Books

 

Class 4  Coptic Binding  - Class notes as signatures

Paper Preparation

1.      This has been done for you.  You will be given a set of class notes prepared in signature format.

 

Punching Holes in Signatures

1.      Mark the first page of each signature with an H (meaning "head") at the top to indicate the orientation of the signatures.
2.      Make a stitching template, using a 2" wide.strip of paper that is the same height as your paper.  Mark both sides of one end of the strip with and H to indicate the top.  Fold the strip in half lengthwise and mark the stitching holes on the inside of the fold line.
 
Note: The number of holes and their placement is your choice but for the purpose of these instructions, we will use five holes spaced as shown.


 
   

·         From the top of the template, mark a hole at least   ½ “ from the top. 
·         Mark a hole in the centre.
·         Mark a hole between the top and centre holes.
·         Mark a hole the same distance below the centre hole.
·         Mark the final stitch hole at least ½ “ from the bottom of the template.

3.      Open your phone book to the middle to use as your punching cradle.
4.      Place the first signature, opened to the middle, into the fold of the phone book with the H at the top.
5.      Place the template into the centre fold of the signature.  Align the edges carefully
6.      Use your awl or piercing tool to punch the holes indicated on the stitching template.  Hold your piercing tool perpendicular to the paper to make sure the holes go through the folds of the signature.
7.      Repeat for all signatures. 
8.      Stack signatures, all with the H at the top, ensuring that the signatures are in the correct order. 
 

Cover Preparation

1.      This book has an open spine so you will be making a separate front and back cover.
2.      Determine the dimensions of your front and back covers.  Your covers will be ¼ “ taller and about 3/8 “ wider than the pages.  When finished the text block will be 1/8" from the top and bottom of the cover; 1/8" back from the cover edges at the spine; and 1/4" from the fore edge of the paper to the cover edge.
3.      Decide how you will edge your cover.  e.g. wrapped edges or decorative stitching on the edges.  This will determine the dimensions of your fabric.  Refer to the General Rules of Thumb in the overview section to determine the measurements of your fabric.
4.      Decorate the cover as you wish.  Keep embellishments away from the area ½ “ from the spine side of the cover.  You will be punching holes in that area
 

Punching Holes in the Cover

1.      Lightly mark the top of each cover (on the inside) with an "H".
2.      With the wrong side of the covers together, align the spine side of the front and back covers, ensuring that the "H" is at the top of both.
3.      Fold the stitching template along the punched holes and place it 1/8" from the spine edge.  Centre it between the top and bottom edges of the cover and secure with binder clips.
4.      Use your piercing tool to punch holes as marked on the template through the top cover and slightly into the bottom cover.  The puncture marks on the bottom cover will be your guides for punching that cover.
5.      Placing your pages on a foam pad or piece of corrugated cardboard will make the holes easier to punch.

 
Stitching the Signatures and Cover

1.      Calculating the length of thread needed for a Coptic book is an art form to be studied later.  For this sample book, we estimate that you will need 2.5 yards of waxed linen thread.
2.      Open the last signature.  Use binder clips to hold the back pages of the signature to the inside of the back cover.  Make sure the "H" of the signature and the cover are on the left side.  Place the punched holes of the signature next to the holes punched in the cover.
3.      Use a small weight to hold the pages in place while you sew and keep the signature open to facilitate stitching.
 




4.      Using a curved needle, enter the top hole (left side of the graphic) from inside signature and leave a 3” tail of thread.
5.      Wrap the thread around the edge of the cover and come up through the first hole from the bottom. 
6.      Loop around the thread that attaches the cover and signature together and re-enter the first hole in the signature.  Tie a square knot and trim the tail to 1/2"
7.      Exit the second hole in the signature, and repeat the step described in 6 above.
8.      Repeat step 7 for the remaining holes in the signature.
9.      When you reach the last hole in the signature, use a bone folder to smooth the stitched section.  Do not re-enter the same hole after you have looped your thread, but align the next signature and enter the bottom hole of the signature (at the right of the graphic).
 


 
 
 
 
10.  Exit the next hole in the second signature and loop thread around the stitch made between the cover and the first signature and re-enter the signature hole.
Tip:  When looping the thread around the stitch below, always point the needle "in the direction from whence you came".  In other words, when sewing from right to left, point the needle to the right when making the loop, when sewing from  left to right, point the needle to the left when making the loop.
11.  Repeat that step for each of the holes in the second signature.
12.  When you reach the top hole of the second signature do not re-enter the same hole but align the next signature and enter the top hole.
13.  When you exit the next hole in the signature make a kettle stitch around the stitch made between the first and second signatures at the bottom hole.

*  A kettle stitch is a half hitch knot.
*  Use your needle to go under the thread that attaches the first and second signatures together at the bottom hole.
*  Don’t tighten the thread all the way at this point, but leave a loop.
*  Cross over the thread and pull the needle through the loop.
*  Pull the knot firmly and vertically to tighten without ripping your pages.



14.  Align the next signature and repeat steps 12 and 13 for the remaining signature, except the final signature, always making the kettle stitch around the previous joining stitch.
15.  When you reach the last signature (the first section of your book) you are going to sew the signature and front cover at the same time.
 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
16. Wrap your thread over the edge of the cover and enter the hole from the top.
17.  Loop around the thread that attaches the cover and the signature together.
18.   Make a kettle stitch around the stitch from the previous two signatures and enter first hole in the final signature.
19. Exit the next hole in the signature, make a kettle stitch around the stitch from the previous two signatures and then wrap thread over the edge of the cover and enter the cover hole from the top.
20. Loop around the stitch that you just made between the final signature and the cover and re-enter the signature hole.
21.  Repeat steps 19 and 20 until you reach the last hole in  the signature.
22.  When you repeat the steps for the last hole, you will tie a knot in the inside of the signature when you re-enter the last hole.  Trim the tail of the thread.
 
      Here is a link for a video tutorial of a Coptic Book binding.  The tutorial does not show the use of a circular needle but is pretty comprehensive.  Most of the tutorials made by Sea Lemon are quite good and I recommend checking out her work.

 

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